Is PR right for you?

February 18, 2008

I am a recovering PR.

Like most graduates, I left University looking to do something exciting with my life, and the lure of spin, champagne, and forward features was the strongest pull for me. I had dabbled in student media at University and finished up in student politics charging around campus with a mega phone. Corporate Comms (for those who can’t bear to admit they work in PR) was a natural fit for an English and Politics student.

Over a year after starting on a graduate training scheme, I finally admitted to myself that PR simply wasn’t for me. In truth, I knew after a month that PR wasn’t for me but desperate not be a failure at my first ‘proper’ job, I stuck it out for over a year.

If you are thinking about applying or even accepting a job in PR, consider a few things before you start:

<!Do you passionately consume media? I don’t just mean do you read a newspaper every day, but do you read news magazines, blogs, download podcasts and actively engage with new media? You will earn you stripes by knowing and understanding your media channels. A passive interest is not good enough.

< – Do you like to be in the limelight? Are you happy letting other people take credit for your work, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done a good job? Working for a PR consultancy, you will watch clients take credit for your own hard work every single day. If you are good at your job you will earn plaudits from the people you work around. Make sure that’s enough for you.

<! -Is a lucrative starting salary what you are after? PR is rewarding in financial terms after a couple of years but don’t expect to start on the same salary as your mates at Deloitte!

I don’t regret my year in PR one bit, Ultimately my work with digital media led to a job opening with an internet start-up in Soho, where I now head up the Business Development team; a job that I wouldn’t have been able to do a year ago. But if you are thinking about getting into PR, try and get some work experience, or at least arrange a chat with graduates currently in the industry.

The rewards are great, but the work isn’t for everyone.

One Response to “Is PR right for you?”

  1. Daryl Tay Says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the same issue, Alex. Perhaps the difference is social media in PR is catching on a lot more in other parts of the world than where I’m from (Singapore). There is a gaping void where corporate blogs should be and at the moment, no one is really stepping up to the plate and claiming that area.

    It almost makes it hard for me to seriously consider PR because I know that entering that industry, will mean being faced with colleagues who are still stuck in the “old” way of thinking, and change is a long time coming.

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